Now that we have given ourselves a chance to catch our breath and compose ourselves after a disappointing result in the NBA Draft lottery, we can fully move forward and invest in the future of the Chicago Bulls. Additionally, we can really dig into the best prospects, highlight those who figure to be among the best fits, and figure out which ones will be available when the Bulls go on the clock with the No. 7 overall pick.
Among them could be Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland, whose time at the NBA Draft Combine was short-lived:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 15, 2019
Shams Charania (The Athletic) reports Garland left the Combine, which sparked rumors that he has a promise from a team in the lottery that he will be drafted.
This is a thing that happens once in a while, but also something that might have happened as recently as last year with the Bulls and Chandler Hutchison. On May 16, 2018, Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress reported Hutchison’s withdraws from Combine workouts after receiving a promise from a team selecting between 20-30, which all but assured him a “safe landing spot” in the draft. Five days later, Kevin O’Connor (The Ringer) also made note of Hutchison getting a promise and connected the dots between the player, his agent Mark Bartelstein (who has represented Bulls players dating back such as Steve Kerr, Taj Gibson, and Bobby Portis), and the Bulls. So when I dropped a “that’s John Paxson’s music!” joke when the news crossed our timeline, it wasn’t totally in jest.
But seriously, Garland could very well be the Bulls’ guy if he makes it to No. 7:
He was 100% the Bulls guy — then they drop to 7, they are scheduling workouts as early as Saturday for guys here for the Combine – 7 is getting them audiences with guys that wouldn’t have worked out if they were higher – everyone knew they wanted Garland. https://t.co/DFymtKtOqZ
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) May 16, 2019
Well, then! There’s a lot going on in that tweet.
Steve Kyler (BasketballInsiders.com) tweets that Garland was “100% the Bulls guy” before the draft lottery and was the guy “everyone” knew they had their eyes on. But because they dropped to seventh after being projected to pick fourth, Chicago has had to recalibrate some things and find themselves looking at players who they wouldn’t have targeted before. Go figure.
Now, I suppose the Bulls could have made a promise to Garland that they would take him if they had the fourth pick. And in that vein, I guess they could still do so if he falls to them with pick No. 7. But there are other teams who could swoop in and snag Garland before the Bulls go on the clock, so let’s not start fitting him for a uniform just yet.
Garland is represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, which is the agency that also represents LeBron James (who happens to be a long-time friend of Paul, the agency’s founder). So with that in mind, the Lakers — a team that could use a point guard, among other things — could target Garland with the fourth overall pick. The Suns, who pick one spot ahead of the Bulls, also have a need at point guard and could view Garland as their guy. It’s conceivable that either of those teams could have also made promises to Garland. Three draft promises would probably be enough for me to back out of Combine workouts.
The 2019 NBA Draft doesn’t open up until June 20. But between now and then, prospect rumors and whispers of promises being made are going to run wild. And we’ll keep an eye on them, because I have a feeling the Bulls could be in the middle of some draft-related shenanigans next month.